Weak Ankles? Try These Strengthening Exercises

At some point during our life, we experience weakness in specific movements or a specific sport. Our bodies are always speaking to us, it’s up to us to listen, to pay attention.

Shannon, one of my savvy students recently asked me what she could do for weak ankles. As a former ice skater, who’s ankles would constantly fall in, I can completely relate. {thanks for the great question Shannon}

I suggested she try standing calf-raises to start, but here are some other great strengthening exercises to add.

Remember our feet and legs are important structures that keep us upright, give them some LOVE and respect so that they will support you long in life.

These strengthening exercises will also help with Plantar Fasciitis and other foot ankle aliments.

ps.....remember to use a regular size bath towel to perform all the exercises.

1) Calf Raises- stand behind a chair or in front of a wall, engage your glutes and core, lift the heels and lower.

2) Heel walks/Toe walks - (we do this often in my Therapeutics class ~ fyi) - with excellent posture, looking straight ahead, a) lift your toes and walk b) toes down, lift heels and walk.

3) Ankle Circles - I have my students and clients do this often, give your feet/ankles some TLC. Sit with a tall spine, short straddle, straight legs. Start to draw circles with your right foot, reverse directions. Repeat with the other foot. You can also perform this exercise standing with you hand against a wall for support.

4) Plantarflex / Dorsiflex -another drill I have everyone do all the time! Sit with a tall spine, straight legs, together point your toes forward and down (Plantarflex), draw the whole top of foot (not just your toes!) toward your knee cap (Dorsiflex). Breathe into the stretch; if it’s intense, you really need it ;p

*Ankle Circles, Plantarflex/Dorsiflex will help with your squat performance!

5) Write The Alphabet With Your Foot - Sit with a tall spine, short straddle, straight legs, begin to write the Alphabet with your foot (and toes), make sure you start at A, go all the way to Z, don’t cheat, skipping any letters. Remember to BREATHE.

Perform all of these exercises at least 10x per foot (except the Alphabet). Practice at least 3x a week, once you develop the movements and strength increase the reps. Take your time, don’t rush the process. Notice how you feel and move after these drills. And yes….you might be sore, but that’s ok, you’re training your body to open, to be more mobile and agile. You can weight (an ankle weight or book) to the opposite end of the towel, it will be more challenging, just take your time and note the progress.

Let me know how it goes!

I hope you found these ankle strengthening exercises helpful. I’d love for you to share with others.

Sending Metta!



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